Johannesburg, South Africa — 29 April 2013 – The practice of trade union office bearers being paid by employers is a legacy which will be stopped, says Chamber of Mines senior executive Vusi Mabena.
“This was a legacy that we are carrying, but this practice will stop soon. The unions have been informed and we expect them to respond; negotiations are ongoing,” he said, reports Fin24.
Mabena explained that the practice had started as a method of capacity building to assist the union and to centralise the salaries of the presidents and deputy presidents. He said the practice had not affected salary negotiations or other negotiations by unions and the chamber.
“No, it hasn’t affected the negotiation processes at all. We have had strikes in the past while the office bearers were paid,” Mabena said.
Union office bearers being paid by an employer was a “universal practice” and not limited to the National Union of Mineworkers, the union said earlier.
“The practice of union leadership being seconded to the union and being paid by the employer is a universal practice, not an NUM matter or a mining one, as the writer wants it to appear,” spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said.
“If a worker is elected to a trade union office, it is the employer that pays his salary while the said worker does work for the union on a full-time basis. There has never been and there is no conflict of interest in these.” Seshoka said all mineworkers were paid by their employers.
He was responding to a report in the Daily Maverick that there was a furtive conflict of interest because mining houses were footing the bill for top NUM office bearers’ salaries.
The NUM called the report “baseless” and said the writer had distorted what was general practice among unions.
Seshoka said the writer had a narrow goal of besmirching the name of our good union.
Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.